Monday, January 7, 2013

Two MPs expelled from DIMAR, Papakostantinou To Give Interview On ERT

Two MPs of the smallest of the three coalition government parties, Democratic Left (DIMAR), were expelled from the DIMAR parliamentary group on Monday by decision of party leader Fotis Kouvelis. In a letter to parliament president Evangelos Meimarakis, Kouvelis informed the House of his decision to expel Odysseas Voudouris and Petros Moutsinas, noting that "the two MPs have for some time, with their systematic and firm differentiation from all the positions and initiatives of the party, come to a full rift with the functions and directions of the DIMAR parliamentary group".

DIMAR, he added, has exhausted all margins for their continued stay in the party's parliamentary group "despite the disdain they have shown for our collective decisions". "What has become manifestly clear is that the two MPs do not simply express different opinions but support a different policy plan than that of DIMAR," Kouvelis concluded.

In early November, the DIMAR executive committee had condemned the stance of Voudouris and Moutsinas in not following the party's line in the vote for the omnibus bill introducing a new package of austerity measures, while Kouvelis had warned them over their tactic of not observing the party's collective decisions.

DIMAR is a junior partner in the Antonis Samaras coalition government. The party's line was to vote 'present' in the parliamentary vote on the austerity package, but the two MPs defied the party line and voted against.

The Lagarde list has provoked outrage among austerity-hit Greeks furious that authorities have done little to crack down on tax evasion by the wealthy elite. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras's government has rejected calls to look into accusations that Evangelos Venizelos -former finance minister who heads the PASOK party- has not done enough to pursue the alleged tax cheats. The government has instead focused on the role of Venizelos's predecessor at the finance ministry, George Papakonstantinou.

In the Greek blogsphere, it was announced that many revelations will also be made this week about this controversial case.

There is also talk about the "shady" role of some judicial authorities on this case, who are apparently in full consultation with the political and business elite to use Papakostantinou as a scapegoat and blame their own political and economic sins on him because of their greed. It is also rumored that one judge has been commissioned to make a lot of noise over this issue but then again, all of this is just blog talk and nothing to really make a fuss over.

On the other hand, what should be interesting is Elli Stai's talk show on Monday night. The head anchorwoman of the state-owned ERT Channel announced on Sunday that she was going to host Papakostantinou on her show on Monday night and we expect that this is going to be one talk show that will score big ratings.

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